A stellar season on the gridiron has earned a few local standouts statewide recognition.
Conway offensive lineman Raiqwon O’Neal and defensive end Tonka Hemingway were named first team all-state performers Wednesday by USA Today. Their teammate, offensive lineman Gunner Britton, and North Myrtle Beach all-purpose man Tyler Gore earned second team honors.
For O’Neal, it is the latest honor in a year chock full of them for the Rutgers signee.
A participant in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, this week he will represent Conway at the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in New Orleans.
He and Britton — also a Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas selection — were key cogs on a Tiger offensive line that racked up more than 300 yards of total offense per game.
A sophomore, Hemingway had 49 tackles and six sacks to help lead the Conway to a Region 6-5A title. He is already on the radar of plenty college football powerhouses, among them South Carolina, Georgia, Clemson, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina and Georgia State.
As for Gore, he contributed to an undefeated regular season and a Region 7-4A title for North Myrtle Beach. Though a key part of the Chiefs’ offensive scheme, his star shone brightest on the defensive side of the ball.
For the season, Gore had five interceptions and nine pass breakups. The Georgia State signee and Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas selection also was in on 50 tackles, forcing three fumbles.